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Licencing floodplain harvesting at lawful, sustainable volumes would be a major environmental, social and economic reform for the NSW Murray Darling Basin. There are also major implications for human health, community wellbeing, equity and the state budget. With so much at stake, public and government attention needs to be focused on the work of the
$3.9 billion has been spent by grants programs with ministerial discretion since 2013. $2.8 billion, or 71%, has been allocated to projects in Coalition seats. Funding has clearly favoured marginal seats at the expense of safe Labor seats and, in some cases, safe Coalition seats. In per capita terms, marginal Coalition seats have received $184
The Government’s proposed voter ID laws risk discouraging Australians from voting, in defiance of the country’s proud history of ensuring everyone can and does vote. There is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem or that voter ID would address it. The Government’s priority should be the 2.7 million Australians whose votes were not
Information industries have lost some 60,000 jobs in Australia in the last 15 years, almost half during the COVID-19 pandemic. And a new research report highlights the need for active policy supports to stabilise the media industry, and protect the public good function of quality journalism. The new report, The Future of Work in Journalism,
Murray Darling Basin Governments are attempting to recover 450 gigalitres (GL) of water through off-farm water efficiency projects, with almost $1.6 billion in funding, or an average of $3,500 per megalitre. Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) has put forward a proposal that would recover 6,282ML at a cost of $124 million. This equates to $19,739 per megalitre
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, regarding a bill that would ensure decisions for Australia to go to war go through parliament. It is clear that there is a growing tendency on the part of democracies that are aligned with Australia for their national Executives
Like Australia, Germany has had a long and polarised debate about phasing out coal-fired power stations. Germany formed a multi-stakeholder group that negotiated a consensus to phase out coal power by 2038. A similar process could help Australia navigate the trade-offs inherent in such a change.
The Commonwealth Government spends over $1 billion annually on consultancies. The advice and reports created by these consultancies should be made publicly available using a Senate order for the production of documents.
The Tasmanian Government’s proposals to make political donations and election spending more transparent are a step in the right direction, but the new laws do not go far enough. The legislation still leaves Tasmania with the weakest regulation of third-party campaigners, such as industry lobby groups, of any state or territory in Australia.
As states around Australia plan for life after lockdown, home quarantine is being hailed as a potentially significant part of our pandemic management infrastructure. In order for home quarantine to work, governments need the ability to monitor individuals and prove that they are complying with the quarantine. The South Australian and Western Australian governments have
The Australia Institute commissioned uComms to conduct a survey of residents across the federal electorates of Brisbane (622 residents), Braddon (632 residents), Boothby (641 residents) and Bennelong (629 residents) on the nights of 4th and 5th of August 2021. Key Findings: Seat of Brisbane – 78.2% of Brisbane voters support setting up a Commonwealth Integrity
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration inquiry into the COAG Legislation Amendment Bill 2021. The Bill should not be passed. Instead of scrambling to maintain secrecy, the Australian Government should take this opportunity to reflect on National Cabinet: how it is structured, how it might
The current level of floodplain harvesting is inconsistent with legislation. Reducing the practice to lawful levels could be done with minimal economic impact due to the export-oriented and capital-intensive nature of cotton production. Even in cotton producing regions, cotton accounts for less than 5% of jobs. Despite a reputation for high profits, major cotton producers
Three in five (60%) Australian’s support requiring subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services, like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, to spend at least 20% of their revenue on Australian content, finds new research by the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,006 people in March and 1,000 in May 2021 through Dynata, with nationally representative samples by gender,
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,006 Australians in March and 1,000 in May 2021 about their use of subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services, concerns about their impacts on children and attitudes towards requiring SVODs to provide more Australian content.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Australians about their views on various restrictions on the rights and representation of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Freedom of expression is under threat in Australia. So far, parliament, the judiciary, the press and the public have failed to fully secure free speech.
The Australia Institute’s submission to the inquiry into parliamentary workplaces focused on the experiences of several of our senior staff in their time as parliamentary staff.
Culture is an inescapable part of what it means to be human. We can no more imagine a life without the arts than we can imagine a life without language, custom, or ritual. Australia is home to the oldest continuing cultural traditions on the planet, and some of the world’s most renowned actors, musicians and
Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by constitutional powers and popular mandates. With the states newly emboldened, further action on climate change, changes to federal-state financial arrangements, and reform of National Cabinet could all be on the agenda.
The latest Intergenerational Report (IGR 2021) reveals that the Treasury Department is more pessimistic about the medium-term outlook for productivity growth in 2021 than when they released the 2015 IGR. In fact, the IGR 2021 reveals Treasury currently believes that none of the Coalition Government’s major reforms introduced since 2015 have had any impact on
The ACT and the Northern Territory are proven democracies that should be free to decide voluntary assisted dying laws in their jurisdictions. Polling research shows that most Australians agree.
Money originally allocated to ensure a healthy Murray-Darling Basin is now earmarked to be spent on seemingly unrelated infrastructure in New South Wales. Instead of recovering 450GL promised to the environment in downstream states, this money may now flow to a range of questionable projects, including upgrading 1200 bridges in irrigation districts.
In recent times, online platforms like Facebook have usurped core aspects of what we expect from a public square. However, Facebook’s surveillance business model and engagement-at-all-costs algorithm is designed to promote commercial rather than civic objectives, creating a more divided and distorted public discourse. This discussion paper aims to initiate a focused discussion around the
New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds most Tasmanians (87%) want Truth in Political Advertising laws, and a ban on political donations by the gambling industry (73.3%). Four in five (80.1%) Tasmanians agree the Tasmanian Integrity Commission should undergo structural change so its design is improved and its existing powers, including holding full inquiries with public hearings, are utilised.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1005 Australians about their thoughts on gender quotas for the Liberal Party and their confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to address issues primarily affecting women. Results show that: More than half (53%) of Australians support the Liberal Party setting gender quotas to achieve a representative
One of the most extensive studies of Australians’ knowledge of and attitudes to the Senate finds that the Senate is a unique, powerful legislative body, but Australians are confused about key details of its powers and operation. The Senate provides accountability, representation and diversity to a greater extent than the House of Representatives.
This submission is made on behalf of the National Integrity Committee. We are an independent group of retired judges who have been involved in advocating the need for a National Integrity Commission. The Committee was formed with the assistance of The Australia Institute. However, we remain an entirely independent body acting in the public interest
The Australia Institute made a submission to the “Rapid Assessment Framework” consultation, a process to reform parts of the NSW planning process.
This paper examines claims by Google and its consultants that the company generates massive economic benefits for Australia—$39 billion for business and $14 billion for consumers. These claims are massively overstated and, as might be expected, negative aspects of Google’s practices are not acknowledged.